Katharine McPhee, Sarah Paulson and More Stars Who've Spoken About Relationship Age Gaps

See how stars responded to age-gap judgment, from what Rosie Huntington-Whiteley said about her 20-year age difference with Jason Statham to what George Clooney shared about his 17-year gap with Amal.

By Elyse Dupre Apr 13, 2024 7:00 AMTags
Watch: Kristin Cavallari Talks Age Gap with New Boyfriend

While fans can have a lot to say about celebrity couples' age gaps, for those in the romance, the concern just doesn't add up.

Take Kristin Cavallari's relationship with Mark Estes, for instance.

"I understand what it looks to the outside world. I really do," the Laguna Beach star, 37, said on her podcast Let's Be Honest last month. "I get that. He is not a typical 24-year-old in the same way that I don't think I was a typical 24-year-old….I really think age is just a number. It's what you've been through in your life, how you were raised. There are just so many factors that go into maturity other than age."

Others, however, have poked fun at their age disparities—like George Clooney did while looking back at his early crush on now-wife Amal Clooney.

"I liked her, but I didn't want to jump the shark on it," the Oscar winner, 62, told Howard Stern about the early days of his relationship with the human rights lawyer, 46. "I couldn't tell if she liked me. 'Cause I'm 17 years older than her, so she might've thought I was grandpa."

They Dated? Surprising Star Couples

And then, of course, there's what everyone else thinks, with the heap of the judgement generally cast the woman's way.

"It's always the woman's fault," Katharine McPhee, 40, reflected on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast while talking about the way people can judge her marriage to David Foster, 74. "Like, 'It's the woman who wants to be with the older man because he has money and he's had success and she wants this, that.' And our story has been the complete opposite."

Not that she cares, really. "It doesn't matter," the Smash star insisted, "because as long as you know the story and you're in love with your own story, that's what's important."

And, yet, dare we say, the debate over these romances is one for the ages. See what more famous pairs have said about the space between them.

Sarah Paulson & Holland Taylor

The practice of ignoring what people say about their 32-year age gap is nothing new for the actresses.

"If someone wants to spend any time thinking I'm strange for loving the most spectacular person on the planet, then that's their problem," Sarah told Modern Luxury in 2018 while discussing her relationship with Holland. "I'm doing just fine." 

Heidi Klum & Tom Kaulitz

As for the former Project Runway host, she simply says auf wiedersehen to any negative comments about her 16-year age gap with the Tokio Hotel guitarist.

"My boyfriend is many years younger than me, and lots of people are questioning that and asking about it," she shared with InStyle in 2018. "That's really the only time when age seems to be shoved in my face and I have to give an answer for it. I don't really think about it that much otherwise."

And Heidi—who married Tom the following year—made it clear she's going to continue living life on her terms.

"You have to just live a happy life without worrying too much about what people think," the supermodel continued, "because worrying is only going to give you more wrinkles." 

Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas

Meanwhile, the Quantico star has called out a double standard.

While she noted people have a lot to say about her being 10 years old than the Jonas Brother singer, she suggested this wouldn't be the case if it were the other way around.

"People gave us a lot of s--t about that and still do," Priyanka told InStyle. "I find it really amazing when you flip it and the guy is older, no one cares and actually people like it."

Sam Taylor-Johnson & Aaron Taylor-Johnson

And if you'd ask the Fifty Shades of Grey director, she'd say her 23-year age difference with the Kraven the Hunter actor just doesn't come up in their day-to-day.

“No, it never does," she said in a 2024 interview with The Guardian. "I mean, it’s coming up now because you’re asking. And it comes up on the outside perspective of people who don’t know us, because I guess people will always...We’re a bit of an anomaly, but it’s that thing: After 14 years you just think, surely by now it doesn’t really matter?”

Sam even pointed out her relationship with Aaron has lasted longer than her marriage to her ex-husband Jay Jopling, who is about four years older than she is.

"So, if you think of it in that way," she continued, "then the age gap doesn’t really make any difference.”

Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones

Though the couple share a birthday (Sept. 25), they aren't on the same page...of the calendar.

"My husband is 25 years older than me; that’s not a secret," the Chicago star told WSJ. Magazine in 2021. "With any relationship, it wouldn’t be normal if there weren’t any ups and downs. The constant is love and respect."

Dennis Quaid & Laura Savoie

The Parent Trap alum may argue that the only ones who should be focused on his relationship with the Bonniedale Films cofounder is them. T-H-E-M, them. Get the picture?

Still, Dennis indicated he and Laura are unfazed by any attention around her being 39 years younger. 

"We just don't even notice it," he told Today in 2021 about their age difference. "We've never related to someone in my life better than we do. We have such a great relationship. And love finds a way, wherever it is. And you never know, when love is coming, who that's going to be. And you have no control over it. And we just couldn't be happier."

Hilaria & Alec Baldwin

The yoga instructor has admitted she used to judge couples with big age gaps before her relationship with the actor, who is 26 years her senior.

"Alec and I are on all the lists of 'Celebrities with the Biggest Age Differences' and stuff like that," she explained on her podcast Witches Anonymous in 2022. "And I would look at it and be like, 'This older man wants some young bimbo with no opinions whatsoever. And then that younger woman is obviously a gold digger, and she obviously doesn't even care and is just like OK, whatever, I hope you die and I'm gonna take all your money.'"

However, she's since had a change of heart.

"Now that I'm in that relationship and people will say those things about me regularly, I'm like, 'Oh my God, why was this trained into my head? Why was I so judgmental about other people who are literally just finding love?'" she added. "And maybe their love looks different from you, and from your love, or from what I thought love would be, but it doesn't make it not valid."

Felicity Blunt & Stanley Tucci

Gird your loins because The Devil Wears Prada actor previously spoke about how he almost ended his relationship with the literary agent in the early days of their romance.

"I'm 21 years older than she is and I didn't want to feel old for the rest of my life!" Stanley told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in 2023. "But I knew that this was an incredibly special person.”

Oli Green & Sienna Miller

The Alfie actress and the Lift actor know not everyone understands their relationship.

 “I would imagine it would be complicated for anyone to get their head around," Oli put it to Vogue while referencing their 15-year age gap, "but there’s been nothing but love and joy.” 

And frankly, Sienna suggested nobody else needs to understand it.

“I don’t think you can legislate on matters of the heart," she added. "I certainly have never been able to."

Jeff Goldblum & Emilie Livingston

The Jurassic Park star recalled a lighthearted moment with his Olympian wife, who is 30 years his junior.

"I said, 'Which Beatle would I be if I was one of the Beatles?'" he remembered on The Hoda Show. "She said, 'Rex Harrison.' I said, 'Wait a minute, I know we saw that My Fair Lady yesterday. I think you're thinking of that.'"

However, Jeff noted it didn't take Emilie long to realize she meant George Harrison

"So there's that kind of thing," he noted of the couple's age gap. But other than their differing cultural touchpoints, he continued, life together is "so far so good."

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley & Jason Statham

The model also doesn't feel the need to deliver a fast and furious response to any critics of her 20-year age gap with the actor.

"His knowledge and strength are really inspiring and attractive, and that can come with a man who's had a bit of time," she told Glamour in 2013. "We have a connection that has nothing to do with age. Work comes and goes, but if you have someone at home who thinks you're the greatest person in the world, that keeps you going."

David Foster & Katharine McPhee

As for how the American Idol alum feels about any judgment towards her nearly 35-year age gap with the composer? Probably so over it.

"I totally get the judgment initially, but things are never as they appear," Katharine said on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy Podcast in 2023. "And I'm in love with our love story, and that's all that matters is that I'm in love with the love story."

Kristin Cavallari & Mark Estes 

One thing that’s not unwritten? The way Kristin feels about her 13-year age gap with boyfriend Mark Estes

“Me dating a 24-year-old is not something that I was searching out,” The Hills alum said on an episode of her podcast Let’s Be Honest in 2024. “It’s not something that I ever thought would ever happen. If you guys listen to the podcast, you know I thought 30-year-olds were too young for me.” 

And while Kristin said she understands how “it looks to the outside world,” she insisted Mark is “not a typical 24-year-old” and that there’s more to a person than their birth year. 

“I really think age is just a number,” she continued. “It’s what you’ve been through in your life, how you were raised. There are just so many factors that go into maturity other than age.”

Amal & George Clooney

When the Oscar winner first started crushing on the barrister, he wasn't sure she'd feel the same way.

“I liked her, but I didn’t want to jump the shark on it,” George said on The Howard Stern Show about his early romance with Amal. “I couldn’t tell if she liked me. ‘Cause I’m 17 years older than her so she might’ve thought I was grandpa.”

However, it turns out she liked him right back and they wed in 2014.

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